The reality of having a NICU baby

Hello my name is Mariah. My son was born at 28 weeks at 2 pounds 4 ounces. On the day of my glucose test I went to the doctors like a normally visit. They checked me in and took my blood pressure. But something was wrong. My blood pressure was 175/100. I was told to go straight to the hospital and up to labor and delivery. While in triage my blood pressure was taken again and was 180/110. I was officially at seizure and stroke levels. Luckily my mom had been in town and was able to get a hold of my partner Justin. I was given Procardia which is a medication to lower blood pressure. Little did I know O was allergic to Procardia and had a terrible reaction, I couldn’t breath, I was dizzy and suddenly my heart stopped. Doctors and nurses swarmed me and I was given adrenaline to start my heart again but the baby was struggling to get his heart back up. I remember lying there out of it when the doctors told me that I have severe preeclampsia. I cried know that I might have to deliver early. After being so healthy and fit my whole entire pregnancy it was a shock. I was kept on bed rest for four days as doctors tried to maintain my blood pressure. By the fourth day nothing had changed and the protein count in my urine was the highest the hospital had ever seen. My kidneys and liver were shutting down and we had to make a choice. I was told I was going to be induced to save my life and the babies life. After a balloon was put into my cervix to help the process I was given Pitocin. After only an hour I started to feel contractions but something was wrong I could feel a gushing of fluid under my sheet. I told my nurse and when she looked under it she ran to grab my doctor. I was hemorrhaging and losing too much blood. My doctor of seven years was luckily on call and assured me that a C-section was the best idea. I was starting to go in and out fighting to stay awake and say goodbye to Justin, to tell him I loved him as I was rushed into the OR. Originally they were going to do local anesthesia but once in the OR I was throwing up and they were losing me. I remember the mask being held to my face as they put me under general anesthesia. I felt like I was suffocating and then  I was out. Not long after I was waking up with my mom and Justin next to me. It took 8 minutes for them to get the baby out. He came out crying and breathing but he was very early.  A week later I was discharged but my battle wasn’t over. I would spend the next two months in the NICU trying to bond and love on my son. He struggled with some set backs. At one month and one week old he was diagnosed with late onset Group B Streptocaucus. A dangerous bacteria that took over his lung and blood causing serious infections. Luckily it didn’t spread to his spinal fluid and become meningitis. He was intubated again and I wasn’t allowed to hold or touch him for five days. After so much progress this crushed me. It took two more weeks to get him healthy again. Nothing is quite like being pregnant and having your baby taken from you. It almost feels like it was all just a dream that you never really had a baby. I wake up every day and pass his room and anxiety kicks in. I don’t shower or eat breakfast because all I want to do is see him and make the feeling of being a mom real again. I have spent every day in the NICU for the past two months and a week watching other babies come and go. All who were born after mine getting that good news that I dread to hear, “ you get to bring him/her home tomorrow!”. Seeing the parents cry with tears of joy and then watching them get discharged and leave. I look forward to that day more than anyone can know. I have watched five different babies next to mine leave. I am so happy for the parents but I want nothing more than to hear those words. Its bitter sweet. I have the oldest baby in the NICU right now and every day is harder than the last. I struggle with depression and anxiety attacks but what keeps me sane is seeing my baby knowing that it won’t last forever. Nothing beats that ache in my chest having to leave him everyday and walk to my car with out my son. As weeks go by I try and stay positive. Some days are better than others. I always look forward to this week is the week and then another week passes and he’s not home. Some days feel like i’ll never get him home. Today I hid in the NICU bathroom as families were being discharged I just couldn’t do it today. You have to keep your head up and know that there may be set backs. Letting this everyday challenge crush you won’t help your child. You have to stay strong and remember they will come home and you will get to enjoy all of those little things you missed. Sager is almost six pounds and going through breathing treatments for chronic lung. We will try him off his air in a couple days and I try to keep in mind maybe next week will be the week.

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